Some persons, who visited the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones deposited at the mortuary, were left stranded following a nationwide strike by mortuary workers.
Members of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana are on strike again less than two months after they called off a similar one.
The Mortuary unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital had red banners tied against the gates to signify that they were embarking on a strike action.
Mortuary workers across the country are embarking on an indefinite strike to demand better conditions of service.
The workers say if the government does not respond positively to their demands, they will not return to work.
The first day of the strike has already started affecting families whose loved ones are being kept in the morgue.
Some persons disclosed to Citi News that they were unable to retrieve corpses due to the strike by the mortuary workers, even though they had made the necessary payments.
The Chairman of the Mortuary Workers Union in the Ashanti Region, Emmanuel Assilfie, said they will only return to work when their grievances are fully addressed by government.
Speaking to Citi News, frustrated persons who were denied access to their bodies appealed to government to meet the demands of the mortuary workers in order to save them from such inconveniences.
Meanwhile, authorities of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital say they have put measures in place to ensure that bodies that are due to be given to families are released.
They, however, noted that they’re no longer accepting new dead bodies in the mortuary as long as the strike continues.
This is the second time Mortuary workers are embarking on a strike after a similar one on March 4, 2019.
That strike was however called off after three days following government’s assurances.
However, negotiations between the Association and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission appear to have broken down, forcing the workers to lay down their tools again.
During the three-day strike, several bereaved families were similarly left stranded at public mortuaries across the country; unable to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones for burial or deposit bodies.
The workers say they are overworked and not paid for their overtime services.
Among their complaints, the Association said most of the workers were employed as casual workers, and their jobs are not guaranteed.
In terms of remuneration, the Mortuary workers say they’re treated as the most unrecognized in the health sector, and for that matter, they’re the least paid on the salary structure of the Ministry of Health with no single allowance.